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Madness: A nine-year-old autistic boy was denied a gold swimming medal in a special Olympics competition in Wales because he set a personal best time that was more than 15% better than his previous best.
Rory Logan, nine, was competing in the Special Olympics Regional finals in Bangor, north Wales, and won the 50 metres race in 53.15 seconds – a personal best and smashing his heat time of one minute and three seconds. However, when it came to the medal ceremony, Rory, from County Antrim, was simply given a ribbon for participating instead of the gold he was expecting.
Now mum Briony claims that officials told her that he didn’t get a medal because he was too fast for the race. She told Belfast Live: “Rory came to me and said, ‘Mum I didn’t do anything wrong, I won fair and square, what did I do?’. I was absolutely gutted for him. I went to speak to the officials and basically they said he had been disqualified because he swam too fast. No one can get over this decision. Apparently you can’t be more than 15% faster than the time you swam in your heats just in case you are trying to swim slower in your heat to be placed in a lower division’s final.”
The boy went on to win gold in two other races, for which he should be cheered, but that he was denied a medal because he did his best is beyond disgusting.The worst part of this story is that in the future this kid is likely going to sandbag his achievements in order to avoid getting punished for success.